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ZONE - Veritshire

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#21 Dalton the Spider Suit Guy

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 04:33 PM

 “You wanted to find the smithy?  My family has owned it since this gate was built, centuries ago!  Our manor and ironworks are right behind it. Welcome to Veritshire!  May your rest be pleasant, your meals nourishing, and your stay as long as you please!

 

Agethar gaped at the city as he swung down awkwardly from his camel. Compared to his village, Vertishire was like the Capitol of the Empire itself. 

 

He looked at Alfonso and said "There...there are nae words in my land's tounge to describe this city. It...it's amazing!"

 

He then bowed to the group and said "Farewell for now, I hope tae see ye in th' evening!" 

 

The Northrim Venator then stumped off towards the Ironworks, leading his camel behind him, and Maugrimm following behind him.



#22 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 05:04 PM

Percula snickered loudly, before hopping up and hovering by the Venator’s cheek to plant a kiss there; Caiden's cheek predictably grew slightly warm from it. “Okay… maybe we can try the ‘other’ spot tomorrow.” She smirked, moving around toward the front of his face. “Buuut whenever you’re ready, big guy.” The pixie said, spreading her arms out in a ‘take me’ sort of gesture.

 

Caiden gently picked her up in one hand. "Brace yourself," he teased, just before he promptly put her in his mouth and swallowed.

 

As usual, he didn't move until he knew Percula was all the way down. Then, he turned his back on everyone else and headed toward his horse again, removing his bedroll from the stallion's saddle so that he could finally get some rest.

 

But as he did, he paused and said quietly, "I know I haven't told you much about myself, Percula. Not... enough, anyway," he added under his breath. "Once we reach Veritshire and we get settled down, hopefully we'll find some quiet time and I can tell you everything. You deserve to know. All those things Agethar was accusing me of, everything about my partner, about my past - you should know all of it."

 

---

 

Percula hugged Caiden's finger, and the Venator budged it just enough for her to know that he wanted to hug her back, but he couldn't. Her thoughts led her to squeeze it even tighter, even feeling the air around her start growing a little cold... but, for now, Caiden didn't react.

 

The Venator silently listened to Neitha and Marcus. He was starting to feel out of place with these two. In fact, the way Neitha kept behaving toward him made him feel like he was getting between them somehow.

At last, half-smile returned to the Inquisitor’s face.  He took a deep breath, then declared.  “It’s time I went home.”

 

Part of Caiden thought of Drake, the other part thought of his own home and his family - and, for a long moment, he said nothing.

 

Finally, he said, "Indeed it is. As for me," he glanced between Neitha and Marcus, saying in his usual serious and factual tone - with no hint of teasing or irony included - "I'll meet you two there. Something tells me I might be intruding."

 

With that, Caiden strode off, walking back through the graveyard and back outside to his horse. Glancing around with his one eye, Caiden determined there weren't many people about, especially where he left his stallion. He stood near the horse for the excuse of looking through his saddlebags - and so that his mount would conceal his hand from view.

 

He then carefully drew Percula out of the pouch she hid in, lifting her up into the palm of his hand and holding her near his face. He looked concerned.

 

"You alright?" he asked, his voice low.

 

---

 

Veritshire was certainly impressive. To Drake, he thought only of how it seemed nice, but it was nothing compared to Illikon. To Kye, it looked like another pretty mortal city. He hadn't seen many, and while none of them had anything on the cities of the Underworld, the mortals of this realm certainly had many unique senses of beauty. Both of them admired their surroundings for their own reasons, largely staying quiet, which was certainly unusual.

 

“Welcome to Veritshire!  May your rest be pleasant, your meals nourishing, and your stay as long as you please!”  It was clear they had rehearsed this line, probably using it whenever they escorted guests into the city.  The gates were already open, and Alfonso beckoned to the travellers, leading them under the arch in the direction of his home.

 

Agethar spoke up before anyone else did: "There...there are nae words in my land's tounge to describe this city. It...it's amazing!"

 

Drake smirked, thinking of Illikon. If only this boisterous Nordling could see his home... as beautiful as Veritshire was, all Tom could think about was Illikon. It sent a dagger through his heart, and the smirk faded fast. He chose not to drop any remarks.

 

As Agethar rode off, Kye breathed a sigh and relaxed. Drake felt the tension leave Kye's muscles, and the demon-kin leaned forward on the knight's back as if in relief. Tom couldn't help but laugh.

 

"You don't like him much, huh?" Drake commented under his breath. Kye glanced at him and leaned forward to whisper something in the werewolf's ear. Drake grunted and met Kye's gaze briefly. Kye just nodded.

 

They both turned their attention elsewhere after that. Kye kept looking around at his surroundings, while Drake's gaze became fixed on a nearby woman, about to walk into some shop: Salonya. In fact, he paused Ghost for a moment. Kye was the only one to seem to think about just how much of an impression a solid black stallion with a white forehead star, bearing a dragon knight in red and gold hoplite armor and a black-clad and spiky warrior on his back, was going to leave on the surrounding populous.

 

Kye nudged Drake. "Tom? Aren't we following that Alfonso guy?"

 

"Oh - yeah," Drake replied, setting Ghost off at a decidedly leisurely walk. "I'm just, ya know, taking in the sights..."

 

The disguised demon-kin rolled his eyes. "I can tell."


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#23 Balder

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 07:04 PM

Fine craftsmanship, sturdy, would be useful in the more northern regions of Achea, El Aurens mussed to himself while inspecting a practical cloak. He'd made the mistake on his first travel trough Achea to not bring a warm cloak and since he'd been wasteful of his money in those early days of service he'd retained nasty memories of days that were as cold as the desert night and then cooler still. He'd learned many things on that expedition, two of which were to bring warmer clothes to Achea and to be much more responsible with his money.

 

Snap, snap, snap!  El Aurens looked up from his thoughts to see the shopkeeper behind the counter, impatience starting to leak through his friendly smile.  “Sorry friend, you seem to have drifted off there.  Were you planning to purchase that, or were you just looking?  I believe there are a few more people who’d like to try on that cloak, if you’re done staring at it.”

 

The slightest frown grew on El Aurens features and he swiftly noted to himself that he did not like this man. And with that his sense for preserving his money won over getting warmer clothes and he returned the cloak to the impatient merchant without a word and a simple disapproving look. With that he turned and left the stall, giving a warning glance to a young elf boy who seemed like the thieving type. He'd remain in Veritshire for a while longer and there was plenty of time to acquire gear more fitting for Achea later.

 

He stopped briefly a few paces away from the merchants stall and swiftly took in the people in his surroundings. Most were just the regular everyday merchants and citizens of the city but there were a few who stood out to El Aurens. Most notable though was the girl near the merchants stall he'd just left that every other man was stealing glances at. El Aurens himself had to admit that she was fairly attractive, though she was not his type. There were however something else about her that he couldn't quite place. Something about her eyes...

 

His thoughts were once again interrupted, this time by the return of a guard contingent who'd escorted a band of travelers to the city. They were a small but odd group that immediately grabbed his attention; a venator, an elf, a knight and a man with much to many knives on him. But El Aurens attention was mainly on the Knight, who's attention seemed directed at the attractive girl. He was a very handsome man and on his breastplate was the symbol of an Acheans noble house. He did not immediately recognize the house in question though there were a vague sense of recognition. El Aruens curiosity was peaked and he desiered to know who these people were.

 

Letting them pass him further on the road, he made his way over to his horse, taking its reigns and leading it after the peculiar group. He made no efforts to obscure the fact he was following and should they halt he intended to continue up to them and perhaps inquire of them. He would prefer to observe them first though.


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#24 Burger Warrior

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 12:48 AM

Caiden gently picked her up in one hand. "Brace yourself," he teased, just before he promptly put her in his mouth and swallowed.

 

As usual, he didn't move until he knew Percula was all the way down. She jokingly let out a long ‘wheeeee!’ as she descended, the end of her descent being punctuated by an ‘oof’. I need to get more used to the drop… Percula thought, getting to her feet as Caiden stomped around, the usual rhythmic feeling of his relatively gigantic footsteps feeling oddly comforting in the confines of his gut. She assumed he was getting some sleeping-stuff ready, like pulling out a bedroll and stuff...

 

But as he did, he paused and said quietly, "I know I haven't told you much about myself, Percula. Not... enough, anyway," he added under his breath. "Once we reach Veritshire and we get settled down, hopefully we'll find some quiet time and I can tell you everything. You deserve to know. All those things Agethar was accusing me of, everything about my partner, about my past - you should know all of it."

 

Percula bit her lip, though she still got nice and comfortable. “Yeah… and I still need to tell you some things about me.” She added, before yawning. “But it can wait a little longer…” She went on, putting on a light-hearted tone.

 

-----

 

When Percula hugged Caiden's finger, the Venator budged it just enough for her to know that he wanted to hug her back, but he couldn't. As she squeezed tighter, though, and her magic leaked slightly, he didn’t react. She wondered for a brief moment if he simply didn’t notice, but then it occurred to her he was just being his stoic self. Why didn’t I just remember that, first? He’s not that invested in the human talk...

 

She, however, was invested enough to hear Marcus say: “It’s time I went home.”

 

After a long moment, Caiden finally said, "Indeed it is. As for me, I'll meet you two there. Something tells me I might be intruding." Percula blinked at that, before snorting with notable amusement. It didn’t help that the Venator had clearly managed to keep a perfectly straight face as he spoke, too. She knew it was horribly out of place, and hoped the other two couldn’t hear her snicker stupidly, trying to muffle herself with Caiden’s finger.

 

In any case, Caiden strode off, before he carefully drew Percula out of the pouch, lifting her up into the palm of his hand and holding her near his face. He looked concerned. And, fortunately, she’d stopped giggling like an idiot by that point.

 

"You alright?" he asked, his voice low.

 

Percula offered a weak smile back. “So you did notice that, huh?” She asked meekly, before sighing. “It… what Marcus said, it just sounded awful… and it brought back bad memories.” The pixie mumbled, lowering her gaze to her feet. “Not like his, but… close enough for me.” Saffron added, quietly.

 

Percula cleared her throat after a moment, though, and looked back up at Caiden. “We can talk about it later, though. Wanna show me human-town?” She asked, forcing a cheerful note into her voice. Being so good at hiding his own emotions, Caiden could easily tell she was trying to cover her pain.

 

-----

 

Salonya sighed as she made her way through Veritshire’s streets, gently massaging her temples. Getting this far through the town had turned into a bloody gauntlet, but at least her reputation had only spread so far. Despite having grown up here, the demon-kin hadn’t gotten around to breaking every boy’s heart in the city. She frowned as she realized she wasn’t quite thankful for that feeling. In fact, Scato realized that was almost a challenge, to her.

 

Despite the fact most other girls in town would have found that idea appalling, Salonya smirked slightly. Eh, maybe if I come back...

 

She really did intend to leave, though. Despite how much… pleasure she took in letting the men - and occasional woman - in the town revel a little in their own personal vices with her, Salonya was getting sick of being spat on - most of the time metaphorically, but occasionally literally - by the majority of the city’s population. Sure, she knew what she was doing wrong, at least in theory, but she wasn’t hurting anyone, was she?

 

I mean, barring that one guy that threw himself off a-

 

A man with clearly more southern blood in his veins than most passed by almost close enough to brush against her, and Salonya felt rather disappointed the man didn’t go a little out of his way to do so. In fact, when the man glanced at her a few paces later, he seemed… uninterested? That was new, and it made the disguised demon-kin pause. Long enough that she could see a few other new things. One of which frankly took her breath away.

 

An extremely fit knight who seemed… hell, drop-dead gorgeous in pretty much every way was leisurely making his way down the street, sitting astride a pitch-black horse that wouldn’t have been out of place on a legion’s parade ground. Salonya found herself staring as the knight met her eyes, pulling his mount to a stop as his companions - largely unnoticed by the girl - rode on with a sizeable escort. Normally, Salonya would have been more interested in them, but…

 

My, isn’t today so very interesting?

 

Both the demon-kin and knight were aroused from their gawking when the man’s companion - a mysterious warrior with an awful lot of sharp-looking spikes on his armor - nudged him and reminded him to get moving.

 

"Oh - yeah," The knight replied to his odd companion, setting his mount off at a decidedly leisurely walk. "I'm just, ya know, taking in the sights..."

 

The man seated behind him rolled his eyes. "I can tell."

 

Salonya grinned at that, giggling girlishly and almost forgetting why she was out here. As she was about to head inside the shop, though, she noticed the odd southerner - the very serious one who apparently lacked any hormones whatsoever - following the knight. Salonya hesitated, glanced inside the shop, and let out an irritated sigh. It’d taken a surprising amount of effort to get here, but… well, it was something she could do any day. Besides, this sort of clothes shopping was hardly going to be of the fun sort, at all.

 

With a slight shake of her head, the disguised demon-kin trailed after the southerner trailing after the knight trailing after the odd party of varied individuals, wondering where this was going to lead her.

 

Doubtless somewhere I’m not going to be in a hurry to leave, with the kind of company their keeping...


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#25 GhostlyCheese

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 01:24 AM

((Ah, Cappy, I changed Arryn's last name to Hegedus (It means fiddler in some old language.) not long after I wrote him... No need to edit it, just note for next time.))

Arryn looked over the bowman who'd been looking over the shopkeep's stock, in a different fashion then how Arryn saw the man's items. His hands were warm from the wraps he wore around, and his finger tips hard and precise from years of playing his instrument, that hung in a DIY shackle on his back.

The 'dwelf's' toes shifted in his new socks they were a nice set of socks he'd taken from a guard's laundry line last night, Arryn could have taken his boots along with it, but the click and clank against the floor wasn't very subtle. So he stuck with his footsteps being cushioned with wrappings and a sheepskin sole.

All I need is some coin and goods for the road... then I'm out of here... with the new Sheriff's act against guys like me, I'll need to get out of here if I don't want to end up behind a set of iron bars...

Arryn was known as Fleetfoot by the town's guard, for his skill in out-running them in the few times he'd been caught in the act. A face with a scarf to his nose, with a hood over his brow, and red eyes peering from the maw between the two was on almost every street corner, and frankly, the fun of being a master-thief outlaw was running dry.

Hegedus' eye was caught by the bowman as he left the shop. A hapless vagabond in Veritshire was a easy snatch for the 'dwelf'. Arryn stood straight from the line of pants and followed the man. Out into the street, straying behind him before catching up and stopping to remain like part of the crowd, incognito to the man with the arrows. Finally, his moment appeared, Arryn moved closer to him, with one hand extended, he prepared to take anything of value from his pocket.

But there she was.

The one who broke his heart with a whisper.

Salonya, the Heartbreaker Queen of this town...

Arryn stopped, he hadn't seen her in months, and yet she stood not even fifty paces from him. The albino was completely unnoticed by the girl. El Aurens had already walked off by the time he realized what had been going on. I-I... I haven't seen her since... but... I can't just talk to her, she wouldn't even remember me... there were so many boys with her back then...

His haze was broken when the southerern's horse almost flattened the small halfbreed. He backed off as he brought his horse to almost a near-halt, as his eyes locked on the girl. Eye... I would steer clear of that one handsome... she might be easy on the eyes, but she's leave your heart in a million pieces.

"Oh - yeah, I'm just, ya know, taking in the sights..." The man said to his follower behind him.

The man seated behind him rolled his eyes. "I can tell."

Trust me friend, looking is free, but anything past that and she'll be wanting some compensation in exchange for her compassion... Arryn scoffed. Wait... am I... jealous?

He knocked it from his mind. Again... these two look like they have some cash to toss around... I could always try my hand using the notes to get my pay... Arryn smirked, pulling his bow and instrument from his bag, he turned the knob at the end sharply and brought the bow across the strings. In only a moment, Arryn began to play his violin, with a cheerful, beautiful melody, he climbed onto a short stone wall, following the knight. He moved over tables and chairs, hoping the man (or Salonya) would catch the noise and turn their attention to him.

Just some nice coin for the road... and I can start a life where I won't be placed in shackles or to the hanging block for the things I've stolen, the places I've dismantled, and the guards with grudges...

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#26 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 10:15 AM

Percula offered a weak smile back. “So you did notice that, huh?” She asked meekly, before sighing. “It… what Marcus said, it just sounded awful… and it brought back bad memories.” The pixie mumbled, lowering her gaze to her feet. “Not like his, but… close enough for me.” Saffron added, quietly.

 

The Venator nodded quietly.

 

Percula cleared her throat after a moment, though, and looked back up at Caiden. “We can talk about it later, though. Wanna show me human-town?” She asked, forcing a cheerful note into her voice. Being so good at hiding his own emotions, Caiden could easily tell she was trying to cover her pain.

 

Caiden didn't move. He looked at her for a long moment before he said simply, "I'm not going anywhere until you perk up, Perky." He nudged her with his nose.

 

After a moment, he commented flatly, "I know that was bad."

 

But then he went on: "We can talk when we reach an inn. I think we've both got a lot on our minds. But whatever it is, it's all in the past. We need to focus on the present. So," he shrugged and asked teasingly - or at least as teasingly as Caiden ever sounded - clearly trying to lighten her up, "do you want to stay in that pouch, or hide somewhere more interesting?"

 

---

 

Drake and Kye were riding along slowly on Ghost, minding their own business, when they suddenly noticed something odd. Kye started glancing around, noticing a few faces that always seemed to be in the people around them. He shifted around some in the saddle behind Tom, making the knight glance back at him.

 

"Why are there a bunch of weirdos following us now?" Kye asked under his breath.

 

"Dunno," replied Drake, absently tossing a single gold coin toward Arryn while he played his music. "Probably they just think we're both incredibly dashing and well-dressed. Even Ghost is handsome. Do you blame them?"


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#27 Sareth

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 12:33 PM

It’s time I went home.”

 

"Indeed it is. As for me, I'll meet you two there. Something tells me I might be intruding."

 

Neitha glanced at Marcus and shrugged as Caiden walked away. "... I have no idea what he's talking about" she said —completely straight-faced, save for a brief questioning look, wondering if there was anything further the inquisitor wished to discuss. Of course, the one time she wasn't actively hitting on Marcus, Caiden seemed to assume that she was.

 

"So..." she said after a moment, playfully holding her arm out like a lady looking to be escorted to a dance. "Want to give me a tour?" she asked Marcus, with a hint of a smile.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#28 Burger Warrior

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 11:46 PM

Caiden didn't move after Percula suggested they get moving. He looked at her for a long moment before he said simply, "I'm not going anywhere until you perk up, Perky." He nudged her with his nose.

 

The pixie was, quite frankly, stunned. After a moment, she managed a delayed - and very amused - snort

 

After a moment, he commented flatly, "I know that was bad."

 

“And you should feel bad.” Percula teased, her good mood coming back with a vengeance as she hugged the monster hunter’s nose back.

 

But then he went on: "We can talk when we reach an inn. I think we've both got a lot on our minds. But whatever it is, it's all in the past. We need to focus on the present. So," he shrugged and asked teasingly - or at least as teasingly as Caiden ever sounded - clearly trying to lighten her up, "do you want to stay in that pouch, or hide somewhere more interesting?"

 

Percula pursed her lips. “Ehhh… let’s leave the more interesting places for a time when you can relax a little.” She said, with a sly grin. “Though… maybe I could try hiding in your eye again.” She smirked.

 

-----

 

Salonya had been moving along quietly enough, though given her appearance outright stealth was all but impossible. Regardless, she noticed the two men on horseback up ahead notice her… or more likely, the southerner she was trailing. She stuck out, but not quite that much, unless she was being looked for. She could see the man in odd armor mutter to his companion, and smirked. He was probably looking at her. Jealous of your delicious friend there, spiky?

 

Before the disguised demon-kin could offer a teasing wave of any kind, though, she heard a vaguely familiar sound.

 

Turning, Scato watched a hooded figure with a violin make his way past her, playing a neat little tune as he approached the knight and his companion. Salonya couldn’t help but wonder where she’d seen the boy before, as he definitely had an odd familiarity about him. Well, I’ve run into plenty of men, so that’s hardly surprising. Mortals are mortals, after all...

 

She watched the knight casually toss the boy a shining gold coin, and her thin eyebrows rose slightly. Rich and handsome, huh? Looks like I finally hit a jackpot.

 

Not that she hadn’t tried marrying into one of the noble houses, naturally, but given her social station that had rarely worked out, and never lasted long. At any rate, Salonya continued to trail along, though her gaze now rested on Arryn, or at least near him; she seemed to be looking off into space, thinking...


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#29 GhostlyCheese

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 09:04 PM

Arryn grinned at the flash of the coin being flipped from the man's hand and into the air. He tossed a hand out and caught it in the air, running it with his fingers until he could see a hint of his reflection. A real gold coin... this guy really has cash to burn! Arryn pulled his hood back and bowed deeply to the nobleman, before calling to him, "you have good taste my friend!"

Although his stature made him look, small and almost like a pubescent teen, who had just hit their growth spurt, Arryn's face was a different story, structured like his father's, handsome, but his mother's features rang true. And a silky, white hair grew from his chin, although just below a stubble, it was noticeable.

Hegedus held his violin by the neck as he shoved the coin into his pocket. The challenge isn't being good at the strings, it's finding someone with the cash, and dumb enough to not know that I'm practically a nobody in this town... Arryn turned, and froze as he noticed that Salonya was looking at him, or at least near him. Does she recognize me? No... she would ignore me if she did... or would she?.. yeah probably...

Arryn looked back and forth, trying to see what she was lined up on, but there didn't seem to be one set object or person, she was just... spaced out. If she did take a look at him, he smiled sweetly for a moment before he pulled his instrument from his back and began to play a sweet tone for the crowd, leaving a small sack hanging off the end of his violin. If I really wanted some money... I could always sell the ... Arryn soon rejected the thought. Never, it's all I have left from them...

Spoiler


He continued with the melody, hoping it would catch the eye of the girl. Arryn did want to make things right between them before he left, or at least tell her that he wasn't angry that she... well, cheated. At this point, the only things keeping me in this town is the guard, the fact I'm near broke, and Salonya...

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#30 Lord_Capulet

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 10:13 PM

“As for me," Caiden glanced between Neitha and Marcus, saying in his usual serious and factual tone - with no hint of teasing or irony included - "I'll meet you two there. Something tells me I might be intruding."

 

Marcus raised an eyebrow, completely ignorant of Caiden’s meaning.  Neitha seemed just as confused, remarking,  "... I have no idea what he's talking about."

 

"So..." she said after a moment, playfully holding her arm out like a lady looking to be escorted to a dance. "Want to give me a tour?" she asked Marcus, with a hint of a smile.

 

Ah.  The flirting again.  Marcus had just revealed a great deal to Neitha, and he was glad that she had taken him seriously enough to hold off her usual advances.  Still, he was unsure of her intentions toward him...and if he had any intentions for her.  With Victoria gone, he had been too focused on work to even think about...pursuing...anyone else.  It would have been too difficult, anyway, with his duties always calling him away to the far corners of the empire.

 

He graciously took Neitha’s arm in his own, but willed himself to respectfully get no closer...of his own volition, at least.  They were not alone in the cemetery, after all.  “I would be honored, Lady Neitha,” he said, smiling, as he led the way back to his horse.  As they slowly made their way to the exit, the Inquisitor asked quietly “I think I have an idea what Caiden was hinting at, though.”

 

He paused, looking Neitha in the eyes.  “You’ve endured much since we met a few weeks ago, yet you’ve stayed with our group.  You are more...aggressive...than any woman I have known, yet you patiently listen to my ranting and even my weeping.”  Capulet hesitated before nervously adding, “You...are also very attractive.  I also appreciate your apparent mutual feelings, even if I have no idea how to show it.  The Inquisition trained me to detect and resist charms of many kinds, though I was already naturally suspicious of any woman who found me attractive.”

 

Marcus’ lips curled into an uncomfortable frown.  “I tell you this because we will inevitably meet my parents within the walls of the city.  Any hesitation upon introducing you will cause all manner of frightful conclusions to jump into their heads.  So...I thought it best to...uh...clarify your intentions before then, if that’s alright with you.”

 

---

 

When Agethar reached the ironworks, he saw that they were situated right next to a manor, in the shadow of a corner of the city wall.  Smoke billowed from a large chimney as ringing hammers and creaking grindstones formed a cacophonous chorus.  At the counter, under an awning of black and blue stripes, a young, stubble-faced, swarthy man was humming to himself as he hung up an armful of pitchforks.  Upon seeing Agethar approaching, he hurried to finish what he was doing and cried out, “Greetings, friend!  Welcome to the Capulet Smithy and Ironworks.  I am Fabrizio Capulet, journeyman smith.  Looking for anything in particular?  Perhaps I could interest you in our mastercraft hone and shine, to get those lovely axes looking new again?  Only two silver per axe with our Inquisition Day discount!”

---

Meanwhile, in the small column of adventurers and Guardians, a lancer was shifting his feet back and forth in his stirrups, as if his feet were especially itchy.  Alfonso steered his horse closer and chided, “I thought you got new socks to avoid this problem.”  The guardsman sheepishly replied, “I did, sir...but someone stole them off my laundry line last night.  Had to use the old, scratchy pair.”  Alfonso groaned, “Is nothing sacred to thieves, even a man’s footwear?  Let me know if you can’t afford new ones next payday, and I’ll see what I can do.”  The lancer nodded in thanks, then noticed the fiddler that was hanging around the group.

 

“Isn’t Fleetfoot about that size, Lieutenant?  Seems awfully bold of him to take a musician’s trade by day.”  Alfonso smirked as he retorted, “Bah, I doubt even that little brat would be stupid enough to dance around in plain view like that.  But you can keep an eye on him, if it makes you feel any better.”

 

Moments later, another guard, this one armed with a bow, rode up beside Tom...inconveniently blocking his view of Salonya.  He leaned in, speaking above the bustling crowd but not wanting to draw attention. “I don’t mean to alarm you, sir, but there’s an archer who’s been following you for the past few blocks.  Were you expecting to meet anyone else in the city?”

 

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"Live with honor, die with glory."


#31 Dalton the Spider Suit Guy

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 04:24 AM

Agethar and Maugrimm entered the Ironworks, leaving the Camel tethered outside, and immediately saw another of the Capulet Family busily hanging up Pitchforks.

 

Greetings, friend!  Welcome to the Capulet Smithy and Ironworks.  I am Fabrizio Capulet, journeyman smith.  Looking for anything in particular?  Perhaps I could interest you in our mastercraft hone and shine, to get those lovely axes looking new again?  Only two silver per axe with our Inquisition Day discount!

 

"Och, I'd like nothin' better Laddie," the Northern Venator said "but I 'appen tae have no money left."

 

He then paused, and bowed deeply, saying "Agethar Twin-axe, at yer service."

 

Agether straightened, and said "I'm looking for some honest work tae earn some coinage: your brother, Alfonso, I assume, told me I could get work here. I donna know much about Smithin', but I'm eager tae learn."

 

Maugrimm barked in approval.



#32 Balder

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 08:07 AM

As El Aurens followed the group he grew increasingly amused as he noticed that he was not only one to do so. Indeed, following not far behind him was the attractive girl from earlier and ahead of him was the child elf-dwarf who pulled out a violin to play a tune for the group he was observing. A smile tugged his lips as he saw both the knights companion and a guard in the escort leaning over to the knight after some none to subtle look in his direction. He'd clearly been noticed, not that he'd tried to remain undetected.

 

As he continued to observe them he'd noticed a few more details about them, mainly of the man with far to many knives. His back was exposed by his armor, revealing scars that could be from nothing but whip lashes. He also carried himself with an degree of uncertainty, as if he was not used to being seen in public. It was all very curious to El Aurens as in his mind the man looked and behaved as a condemned criminal who had just returned to society after a severe punishment and yet here he was, riding behind a clearly wealthy and respected noble, judging by the guard escort and the gold coin he tossed the violinist. It was all very interesting to El Aurens and he knew that the honored Vizier, Bashir Fadi, would undoubtedly find their stories interesting as well. His lord was a very curious man and had El Aurens attain anything from maps of distant lands, book in foreign languages, and stories from the men he meet, not to mention the oft searched after artifacts of ancient magic.

 

While musing he turned his attention to the trailing girl and decided to see if she knew anything of the recent violence he heard of with his arrival in town. Rumor had it that there was a conspiracy, something he snorted at as there was always conspiracies when one dealt with nobles, it was not out of the ordinary for them.

 

Giving a sharp whistle he beckoned the girl over as he slowed down so that he walked parallel with her while leading his horse. "Curious, are we," he asked with an amused half smile and nod towards the group both of them had been following.


Edited by Balder, 22 October 2015 - 08:09 AM.

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#33 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 08:33 AM

“And you should feel bad.” Percula teased, her good mood coming back with a vengeance as she hugged the monster hunter’s nose back.

 

Caiden couldn't help but grin, at least briefly.

 
Percula pursed her lips at his question. “Ehhh… let’s leave the more interesting places for a time when you can relax a little.” She said, with a sly grin. “Though… maybe I could try hiding in your eye again.” She smirked.
 
He shrugged. "That works for me," he replied, though he added teasingly, "Even if you're making me impatient to reach an inn or something."
 
But he reached up and used his free hand to move his eyepatch back some, enough for Percula to get inside his head, if she wanted - literally. "Just try not to tickle me," he half-joked.
 
---
 
"You have good taste my friend!" the music-player called as he caught the coin.
 
"Yeah, good tastes, alright," Kye muttered as he glanced back at Salonya, whom Drake was eying on occasion. "So when're you gonna try to...?"
 
But before Kye could finish his unintentionally blunt question, another guard, this one armed with a bow, rode up beside Tom...inconveniently blocking his view of Salonya.  He leaned in, speaking above the bustling crowd but not wanting to draw attention. “I don’t mean to alarm you, sir, but there’s an archer who’s been following you for the past few blocks.  Were you expecting to meet anyone else in the city?”
 
Drake couldn't help but frown some to have his view blocked, but he wasn't going to blame this guy for it. Instead, he shrugged and replied, "Not really, no. I noticed some people seemed to be trailing along after us, though."
 
"pointed it out," Kye murmured. Drake just reached back and jokingly patted his leg in acknowledgment. Drake had noticed it, too, but he just didn't really care.
 
Addressing the guard still, Tom added, "If you think he's trouble, I'll just have a word with him. I'm not really worried about a guy with a bow. I've met a lot of those."
 
By 'met' he also meant 'killed,' but he wasn't going to bring that up unless the archer ended up being trouble. Kye's first thought for 'met' in relation to Drake was 'eaten,' but he wasn't going to voice that, either.
 
So Drake fired a short two-fingered salute off his forehead in thanks to the guard who'd rode up next to him - and then he turned Ghost around, heading back toward El Aurens and Salonya. Kye leaned forward and muttered something in Drake's ear again, but Tom waved him off. Kye said nothing, keeping his left, gauntleted hand around Drake's waist to keep a hold on him while they rode... but he moved his right back to rest closer to his torso, in case he had to draw a dagger and throw it at someone's head. He didn't rest his hand on any hilts, however, so he still looked casual.
 
The knight halted his steed near El Aurens's horse, looking between the archer and Salonya. "Hey, fellas," he said, though he acknowledged Salonya with a slight bow of his head, since she was a lady.
 
But he returned his attention to the both of them and went on, "Couldn't help but notice you two following us. Anything we can do for you, or...?" he shrugged.

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#34 Burger Warrior

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 01:09 PM

He shrugged. "That works for me," he replied, though he added teasingly, "Even if you're making me impatient to reach an inn or something."



Percula laughed. “At the rate our luck’s been going, I get the feeling that’ll take a while…” She smirked.

 

At any rate, he reached up and used his free hand to move his eyepatch back some, enough for Percula to get inside his head, if she wanted - literally. "Just try not to tickle me," he half-joked.


She stuck her tongue out playfully, making her way inside the fairly sizeable hollow. “Now why would I do such a thing?” The pixie teased, though she kept her wings close about her to tickle the Venator as little as possible while she curled up as far from the edge of his socket as possible.


-----


Salonya’s brows raised as a guard approached Tom, sparing the rider in front of her a glance as he muttered to the knight. The disguised demon-kin wondered if she was as conspicuous - and suspicious - as the southron was. Conspicuous? Probably. Suspicious, though? Eh… in a way, I suppose. She thought with an amused smirk.


In either case, Arryn’s new tune wasn’t lost on her, and Salonya’s eyes turned back to him, and one brow rose above the other as the boy removed his hood. A moment later, memory finally struck true. Oh… well, it is hard to forget a face like that. She thought, tilting her head slightly. She began to step toward the half-elf. And ears. Funny, I don’t remember really telling him to stop his antics… he stopped himself, didn’t he?


Huh. I wonder…


A piercing whistle interrupted the demon-kin’s thoughts, and Salonya glanced at the source of the sound. The Southron had finally noticed her, and slowed his horse to ride alongside. And not an invitation to join you up there? Someone needs to teach you some manners… She thought, a faint frown decorating her face as the rider spoke.


"Curious, are we?" he asked with an amused half smile and nod towards the group both of them had been following.


She let one brow rise slightly. However, before she could drop a witty comment, the knight they’d been following slowed down, halting his steed near El Aurens's horse, looking between the archer and Salonya. "Hey, fellas," he said, though he acknowledged Salonya with a slight bow of his head, since she was a lady. Her frown was quickly replaced by a pleasant smile.

 

He returned his attention to the both of them, though and went on, "Couldn't help but notice you two following us. Anything we can do for you, or...?" he shrugged.

 

Salonya’s smile shifted into a wry grin. “Well, I don’t know about my bearded friend, here,” she said, nodding at El Aurens, “but my desires aren’t complicated in the slightest, sir…?” She said, clearly waiting for an introduction. Despite Scato’s lack of knowledge, the seductress still seemed more amused than anything.


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#35 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 01:52 PM

Percula laughed. “At the rate our luck’s been going, I get the feeling that’ll take a while…” She smirked.

 

Caiden frowned. "I hope not," he replied frankly.

She stuck her tongue out playfully after he moved his eyepatch aside, making her way inside the fairly sizeable hollow. “Now why would I do such a thing?” The pixie teased, though she kept her wings close about her to tickle the Venator as little as possible while she curled up as far from the edge of his socket as possible.

 

Caiden as he slid his eyepatch back into place as he teased, "I have no idea. It's almost like you've sometimes tried to drive me crazy tickling me when you were in my stomach..."

 

Once he had his patch back on, however, he mounted his horse again and turned the steed back toward the city gates, trotting toward the entrance to catch up to the others.

 

---

 

Salonya’s smile shifted into a wry grin. “Well, I don’t know about my bearded friend, here,” she said, nodding at El Aurens, “but my desires aren’t complicated in the slightest, sir…?” She said, clearly waiting for an introduction.

 

Drake gave a short laugh and replied, "Sir Tom Drake, the Demon Slayer of Illikon, at your service. And my spiky friend here is Kye Vakurseth," he gestured over his shoulder at Kye, who gave a quiet wave and managed a little smile.

 

Tom added, "And do we get the honor of knowing your name, milady?"


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#36 Lord_Capulet

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 01:59 PM

Agethar straightened, and said "I'm looking for some honest work tae earn some coinage: your brother, Alfonso, I assume, told me I could get work here. I donna know much about Smithin', but I'm eager tae learn."

 

Fabrizio corrected, “He’s my cousin, actually, but if he sent you, I suppose we can find a place for you.”  The young smith opened a door to let Agethar into the shop.  “Hope your dog doesn’t mind loud noises and stifling heat.  If he does, he might want to wait somewhere else.”

 

Inside, the warmth and clangor were significantly more oppressive, though there was no lack of light.  Various apprentices and workers looked up briefly from their tasks to nod or wave in greeting.  Some were grinding edges on blades, some were shaping metal over anvils, and others were working near a large, intimidating crucible.  The glow of the molten steel illuminated one grumpy, bearded face, which was twisted in anger as its owner berated a young apprentice.  Agethar saw a puddle of the liquid metal on the ground, and anyone could guess what had drawn the older man’s ire.

 

“...tis’ not just about the steel you’ve wasted, boy.  If your foot had been there, I’d be lecturing while dragging you to a healer, which wouldn’t improve my mood at all.  Next time you’re not sure about how much steel to cast, you ASK!  And if you think you’re about to overfill, for Hephaestus’ sake, stop pouring!  A good smith...nay, a good worker PAYS ATTENTION.  Do I make myself clear?”

 

The apprentice nodded sheepishly, then accepted a slap on the back of the head from a nearby friend and a shovel from the older man. He promptly began cleaning up the remnants of his error. Satisfied with his lesson, the old man walked up to where Fabrizio and Agethar had been standing, a noticeable limp in his gait.  “You giving out tours, son?  Or does this Venator want some custom work done?”

 

“Neither, papa.  This is Agethar.  He wanted to do a bit of honest work and make some coin during his stay.  Alfonso sent him.”

 

The blacksmith grunted, “You look like a bloody Northman.  Well, at least you’ll have more muscle than most of the waifs I take in.”  He jerked his thumb in the direction of a row of iron hooks on the wall, holding various hats and cloaks or identical leather aprons.  A hyetzu skull was mounted on a frame, centered on the wall above the hooks.  Its mouth hung open, as if still in pain, and a hammer-sized cluster of its teeth were missing.  “Grab one of those aprons and hang up anything you don’t want singed or stained. Then meet me by the bellows there.”  He pointed tersely, then began limping where he had indicated.  “And I’m Vitruvius Capulet, nice to meet you and all that.  Hurry up, I’m not getting any younger.”

 

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#37 Sareth

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 02:41 PM

You’ve endured much since we met a few weeks ago, yet you’ve stayed with our group."

 

"I wouldn't say too much enduring was required, once I got past the weirdness of it all. 'Twas barely a drop in the bucket of my life" Neitha replied lightly.

 

"You are more...aggressive...than any woman I have known, yet you patiently listen to my ranting and even my weeping. You...are also very attractive."

 

"Stop, you'll make me blush" she interjected, though her tone indicated the exact opposite of her words.

 

"I also appreciate your apparent mutual feelings, even if I have no idea how to show it. The Inquisition trained me to detect and resist charms of many kinds, though I was already naturally suspicious of any woman who found me attractive... I tell you this because we will inevitably meet my parents within the walls of the city. Any hesitation upon introducing you will cause all manner of frightful conclusions to jump into their heads. So...I thought it best to...uh...clarify your intentions before then, if that’s alright with you.”

 

Neitha said nothing for a moment, taking a deep breath and reaching up and giving Marcus' horse a quick pet on the neck, before turning back to him, a somewhat melancholy smile on her face. She might as well tell him —if he hadn't figured it out yet, he would sooner or later anyway. "Would you believe me if I said I didn't know my intentions?" she asked softly.

 

"Believe it or not, this is rather new to me, too; I haven't spent this long with a single man in... ever —not counting my father, of course. Normally I get what I want, and I'm gone the next morning —most men probably wish they could be as good at that as I am." She didn't know why she was still talking, but she couldn't seem to stop, words pouring out of her.

 

"But, what do I want with you? I mean, you're certainly attractive enough in the physical sense, and you seem to have a number of good immaterial qualities as well; and there's always the fun and challenge of breaking a shy or awkward person out of their shell..." she continued, utterly honest —even to an uncomfortable degree, potentially. "But, if there's something more —I suppose there must be, if it were just fun I probably would have just given up and gone after Tom, who I suspect wouldn't even have been a fraction as difficult— I don't know what it is..." she said with a sigh.

 

"I've been so selfish for so long, solely concerned with my own survival and pleasure... I don't know if I have anything to offer —don't know if I even could—, if I wouldn't just get bored in a day or a week if I succeeded, and flit onto someone new...

 

"I wasn't always like this, I remember a time when I was young, when I would have happily become a—" she bit off her words, just in time to prevent herself from accidentally revealing her noble heritage. She wasn't sure she could bring herself to tell him, especially not after just learning about what he went through with his previous love. "—It doesn't matter" she continued, trying to gloss over her near-mishap. "I changed. Life on the streets, in the pits... more than half my life was spent hammering in —over and over— the lesson that I'd better look out for myself, 'cause no one else would. And... I'm not sure I can change at this point."

 

She went silent for several moments, by this point staring resolutely at Marcus' chest armor rather than meeting his eyes —fearing what she might find there—, her expression stony. "... If you need to introduce me as something, just say I'm a friend —that's true enough.

 

"... I suppose" she added to herself darkly, though the words never even made it out of her throat.

 

"Come on" she said after a moment, turning to give Naimah a finally friendly stroke on the cheek, her tone... businesslike, lacking her normal vivacious cheer. "We should catch up, the others are probably wondering where we are" she continued, not even turning to face Marcus as she spoke.

 

She didn't really give a damn if the others were worried or not, but it was an excuse to get away from here, and, without another word, she slipped around the horse and started walking slowly towards the cemetery gate, and thence to the city below.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#38 Dalton the Spider Suit Guy

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 05:28 PM

Hope your dog doesn’t mind loud noises and stifling heat.  If he does, he might want to wait somewhere else.

 

Agethar nodded, and whistled, and Maugrimm padded over to him.
 

"Go find Caiden or Drake, okay boy?" the Venator asked his dog "I'll be back in a while, just hang out with them fer a while." 

 

The Dog nodded balefully, and trotted out of the shop.

 

The Northrim Venator followed Fabrizio into the Forgeroom, and almost instantly sensed the discomfort of the heat: it was not unlike being slow roasted over a fire like some sort of pig. He watched quietly as the old Blacksmith gave a dressing down to a Apprentice before strutting over with a significant limp.

 

You giving out tours, son?  Or does this Venator want some custom work done?

 

Neither, papa.  This is Agethar.  He wanted to do a bit of honest work and make some coin during his stay.  Alfonso sent him.

 

 “You look like a bloody Northman.  Well, at least you’ll have more muscle than most of the waifs I take in. Grab one of those aprons and hang up anything you don’t want singed or stained. Then meet me by the bellows there. And I’m Vitruvius Capulet, nice to meet you and all that.  Hurry up, I’m not getting any younger.

 

Agethar nodded and moved over to the hooks. As he removed his cloak, axes, bow, quiver, vambraces, as well as his chaimail vest and leather breastplate and somehow managed to fit it onto three hooks; he did, however, keep his leather gloves and linen tunic on. As the Northrim Venator shrugged on a leather apron, he started at the skull of a Hyetzu which was mounted on the wall. Its missing teeth, as well as the Blacksmith's pronounced limp, told the Venator a lot about Vitruvius: he must have been quite the warrior in his day. 

 

He then strode over to the Bellows where Vitruvius was standing, and wondered if he would be able to talk with Marcus' Uncle when the day's work was done.

 

---

 

Maugrimm, in the meantime, made his way towards Drake's scent, quickly finding the Knight and a multitude of people who were stalking him.

 

The dog trotted alongside Ghost, letting out a friendly bark, to let the Knight know that he wanted more scratching. 



#39 GhostlyCheese

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 08:53 PM

Arryn continued playing, and he hid the grin that grew when he noticed she began to approach him. Finally, I get to talk to her after... I don't even know how long it's been... the half-elf thought of what he should say, a tad anxious. Hi, Salonya, I'm Arryn, we dated once... no, too rude. Hello, I'm Arryn, do you remember me, Sal? Too weird...

His train of thought was derailed when he heard the sharp whistle. And glance to see that the man on horseback had rode up beside the man he'd seen in the shop, and the girl. He could read this guy, rich, handsome, and cocky. Damn, I hate rich guys... they always get the girl, and if they don't. Then the pretty girl dies in his arms at the end of the story...

Arryn noticed the guards glancing at him. Stopping his tune to take a break and think. He could recognize and identify both, a trait any good thief would need to have, lancer was man he say laying peacefully in his bed as he ran off with his socks. And the other... Albert, no, Alan? That wasn't right... Alfonso Capulet. A family name in Veritshire, known for the heroes and noble's the family spawned over the years.

Arryn pulled his scarf up around his neck and placed his instrument in his bag and began to approach the rider and the pair he approached. Make yourself look natural... strike a conversation... or something... Arryn began to think of a distraction from the guards. As he neared Salonya and the men, he could pick up their conversation.

"Sir Tom Drake, the Demon Slayer of Illikon, at your service. And my spiky friend here is Kye Vakurseth," The knight said, gesturing to the darker man behind him.

Demon-slaying nobleman? I'd shake his hand and tell him it was a honour if I wasn't so low on the economic chain. I think I've heard of him... in a ballad or sonnet once...

"And do we get the honor of knowing your name, milady?"

That's my cue...

Arryn walked behind El Aurens, and silently pulled his coin purse from his pocket as he was distracted. Before reaching to the ground to make it appear he was grabbing some thing. He then stood up and tapped the man on his shoulder, when he turned, he smiled friendlily and spoke. "Sir, I think you dropped this..." He said, before his eyes drifted to Tom. "Demon-Slayer huh? Interesting, I took you for the chess type." He said comedically.

"Ah, I'm sorry, my apologies, I did interrupt didn't I?.. where are my ethics? My name is Arryn, entertainer and musician... it's a pleasure Sir Drake, to actually see a hero in person. I've heard of your stories..." He said, trying to get involved in the conversation, but being discreet about it.

Edited by GhostlyCheese, 22 October 2015 - 08:56 PM.

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#40 Balder

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 06:28 PM

When El Aurens once again turned his head to study the men he had been following it seemed they had decided to confront him and the girl and the archers smile grew. It seemed they would go out of their way to sate his curiosity. How accommodating of them. And here I thought I would have to-

 

His breath caught, his smile dropped and his body stiffened. There, on the whipped mans back, a rune he'd missed, only seen for but a moment as they turned, briefly illuminated by the sun. It was clearly a magical rune, but what frightened him was the the particular nature of it. A demonic rune.

 

He couldn't help but stare at the spiked armored man, hardly noticing the knights inquiry, his fear furthered as he realized that the mans gauntlet too was demonic in nature. He wanted nothing more than to turn his horse and run, to flee the man and whatever demonic influences he carried. Just as I did to my brother. 

 

The uninvited thought broke his stupor with a sting and he broke his frightened stare and steadied his breath just as the knight introduced himself. "Sir Tom Drake, the Demon Slayer of Illikon, at your service. And my spiky friend here is Kye Vakurseth." El Aurens looked up at the knight in recognition. So this is the Demon Slayer of Illikon, He took comfort in that. He wouldn't be the herald of demons. Likely this Kye is a freed slave of whatever demon Drake vanquished and now he follows the man in gratitude. Yes, El Aurens assured himself and relaxed, He have likely suffered greatly at the hands of demons.

 

He was about to speak up when he noticed the street rat from earlier attempting to cut his purse. In one swift move he pulled his dagger with one hand and grabbed the thief with his other, placing it on his throat with a growl. "Tell me why I shouldn't gut you, worm," he seethed through his teeth. "You are not half as sneaky as you think you are."


Edited by Balder, 27 October 2015 - 09:05 AM.

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